• Damn.

    The art and animation of the new Boondocks show have been really impressive (and alliterative!) thus far. The series itself has been a bit of a disappointment to me, but no arguing about how mind-blowingly well drawn it is.
  • D is for Disaster

    Graham Walker, a Stanford Med student and the proprietor of Over My Med Body, has the best introduction to Medicare Part D that I've yet seen. The money quote? Seniors are completely confused by this Medicare Part D. (And if you’re even still reading, aren’t you too?) It’s almost to the point that Jeff Foxworthy could do his redneck routine: “If you’re 65 and have recently pulled out your last remaining hairs, you might have Medicare Part D.” Read the whole thing.
  • Fooled Again Again

    Farhad Manjoo's evisceration of Mark Crispin Miller's Fooled Again is today's must-read, particularly for all of you who still believe the election stolen. Check it out.
  • Important Issues Facing the Nation

    Lines that should set off your "I'm getting old" alarm: Many kids now consider it as nothing more than a social convention, a mark of popularity, a sign of sexual liberation and a pleasant way to pass the time in the back of the bus on the way to school. I had my share of fun in high school, but most kids don't even take the bus, much less resort to blowjobs as a way to pass the time in traffic. Forget decency, potholes and speedbumps make it physically risky. It's fine to inveigh against the epidemic of oral and, for that matter, anal, sweeping the nation. As you wish. But even the most popular kids in school don't get naked in homeroom or regularly pleasured on the bus. Just as in other time periods, boys and girls spend their time scheming how to get laid, most of them fail most of the time, a couple succeed, and the world keeps spinning. Condemn all you want, but these sorts of overstatements just make the 99.999% of high schoolers not participating in the x-rated edition of...
  • Big Government Edwards

    Much has been made of John Edwards' "I Was Wrong" editorial in this weekend's Washington Post . Since you've no doubt seen the man's mea culpa, I'll constrain my comments to the obvious: this was the right move, both morally and politically. More interesting, at least to me, is this profile on Edwards from The Nation . Remember, Edwards didn't start out a populist liberal, he was Burce Reed's guy, the second coming of the DLC Democrat. It was only midway through the campaign, and particularly after it, that Edwards found his footing in poverty and domestic policy. As someone in the piece put it, the closest analogy is RFK, who began as an unfocused striver and evolved into a man consumed with econmic despair: Edwards steadfastly declines to revisit the last campaign. "If you don't mind," he says, "I'd rather talk about the future." But as he touts his antipoverty crusade and dissects the morass Democrats find themselves mired in, it is clear that Edwards has done some hard thinking...
  • Any Questions?

    Well, this should pretty much end debate on Alito's true leanings: Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr., President Bush's Supreme Court nominee, wrote that "the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion" in a 1985 document obtained by The Washington Times. "I personally believe very strongly" in this legal position, Mr. Alito wrote on his application to become deputy assistant to Attorney General Edwin I. Meese III.[...] "It has been an honor and source of personal satisfaction for me to serve in the office of the Solicitor General during President Reagan's administration and to help to advance legal positions in which I personally believe very strongly," he wrote. "I am particularly proud of my contributions in recent cases in which the government has argued in the Supreme Court that racial and ethnic quotas should not be allowed and that the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion." Imagine how much prouder he'll be to take up those fights from the Supreme Court.
  • Safer Smallpox Vaccine

    This , I think we can all agree, is very good news: New vaccine technologies are emerging that offer a fresh chance to devise a strategy against smallpox, the most fearsome potential weapon in the bioterror arsenal. Two companies are reporting rapid progress in developing a new vaccine designed to be safer than the standard one, and a third company, with no government support, is developing yet another new vaccine. That vaccine could offer significant advantages if terrorists were to unleash the smallpox germ in several cities at once, requiring the vaccination of huge numbers of people. The government stumbled badly in its campaign after Sept. 11, 2001, to vaccinate health care workers who would respond to a smallpox attack. It has since spent millions to fund development of a new, safer vaccine and has already decided to order enough to protect at least 10 million people. It could buy far more if money becomes available. A smallpox attack is right up there with nuclear assault on...
  • Edwards Calls For Withdrawal, Rejoicing Ensues

    By Neil the Ethical Werewolf Being an enormous John Edwards fan, I've long awaited the day when he would come out and say that his Iraq vote was a mistake. It was one of the things I wanted to ask him about when I met him, but I decided to ask about health care and global poverty instead. So you can imagine that I'm thrilled to see his op-ed expressing exactly that sentiment in the Washington Post. I'm quite happy with the content of the op-ed itself. It begins with a straightforward "I was wrong" and blames bad WMD intelligence for his vote. I regard his quasi-explanation of why he didn’t speak out against the war before – “It has been hard to say these words because those who didn't make a mistake -- the men and women of our armed forces and their families -- have performed heroically and paid a dear price” – as bullshit, but it’s the kind of sterilized bullshit that doesn’t pollute the rivers and makes decent fertilizer.
  • Doors

    By Ezra Granted, the whole "if feminists get their way, who'll open doors for women!?" argument is riding the short bus from the very start and I should probably leave it alone, but one thing I've always wondered: I hold open the door for a lot of dudes . In fact, I basically hold open the door for anyone entering it less than five feet behind me. Now, that may be because the enormous power rippling out from my pectoral muscles and bulging forth in my biceps simply demands physical labor, but how would that change if women were equal? I'm clearly holding the door out of some odd motivation internal to me, not a deep-seated belief in womanly wimpitude. And do I unknowingly believe other men inferior? Is what the world needs now a masculinism movement to heal unequal power perceptions within the male community?
  • Birth, Blood, Buses

    By Pepper of the Daily Pepper Like Neil, I'd like to consider focusing more on individuals in the schools. In Newsweek's remembrance of Rosa Parks, Ellis Cose writes, In the newly published "The Shame of the Nation," Jonathan Kozol sheds a book's length of tears over segregation in schools. He cites research that shows segregation is worsening and notes that three fourths of black and Latino children attend schools with no or relatively few whites. It is a daunting task to convince poor, minority kids they can learn "when they are cordoned off by a society that isn't sure they really can," writes Kozol. Ezra has covered this topic before , but the questions are worth asking again and again. Is this what the civil-rights movement was for? Fighting against segregation just so it can happen again? It is hard to find opportunity in public schools, harder than ever. The wealthier and whiter families are in the suburbs, where their property taxes go to fund nicer schools.